Not more powerful than a locomotive, but definitely faster than a speeding bullet .

| 9/22/2004

All you truckers out there who are running compliant, but feel just a bit guilty about the few times when you go 5 or 10 over the limit, let us offer you a little guilt relief.

This week, the Minnesota State Patrol gave out the highest speeding ticket ever in the state – 205 mph.

That’s right, 205. That’s not a misprint – it’s 140 mph over the posted limit.

It happened on U.S. 61 in the southeast part of the state, not far from the Mississippi River, Nathan Bowie, spokesman for the state patrol, told Land Line. A group of motorcycle enthusiasts were holding a gathering when two decided to take to the road.

One of the cyclists pulled ahead and was clocked by a State Patrol airplane – that he passed.

That’s right. Faster than the bear in the air.

The patrolman in the plane was clocking the two cycles as they passed over a series of mile markers and quarter mile markers on the road. The cycle in question passed between two of the quarter mile markers in 4.39 seconds, Bowie said, which the officer calculated, based on the time and distance, as 205 mph.

Perhaps a bit startled, the officer “did indeed double check” his calculations, Bowie said.

The speed on the ticket “is probably the fastest one ever,” Bowie said. “There’s been a number this year at 100 mph. The next fastest one was 150 mph in 1994 in Lake of the Woods County in north Minnesota.

“This person is putting his life at serious risk here by going this speed,” Bowie said. “It’s just not very bright to be going this fast on any road. I mean, 140 mph over the speed limit …

“Going this fast … one bump in the road, anything, and this guy’s tossed,” he said. “Speed does kill.”

Samuel Armstrong Tilley, 20, Stillwater, MN, was ticketed in the incident, Bowie said. His citation listed reckless driving, driving without a motorcycle license, and, oh yes … for speeding. After he was given the citation, he was released. He will appear in court this October.

– By Mark H. Reddig, associate editor